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 - Eric Westlund

Here are some more recollections of the ICW Wrestling promotion which flourished in the mid-south area in the early 1980ís.  One fact, which I was negligent in bringing up last column, was the timing of George Weingeroff being exposed as promoter by Ronnie Garvin.  This was shown as one of Garvinís classic discoveries, at the beginning of an episode Garvin revealed this to the viewing audience.  George acknowledged he was given an opportunity to purchase part of the promotion and had taken advantage of it.  This event occurred in late 1981.  Originally my memories had placed this event in mid 1982, but a video discovery recently solidified this as occurring in October of 1981.  

The reason this is being brought up is due to the controversy in the tag team situation of the promotion at that time.  The original convertible blondes (Rip Rogers, Ricki Star, and Gary Royal) were feuding with the current champs, Lanny and Weingeroff, for most of the latter part of 1981.  The three-man trio of the blondes placed two men inside the ring to wrestle with the other outside to cause a diversion for the referee.  They were successful using this tactic against most of the mid level talent teams and claimed they were due to capture the gold from the reigning duo of Lanny and Weingeroff.  The blondes defeated many combinations of wrestlers from the promotion during 1981 including Chief Tapu, Bill Martin, Rick Zarta, Hoot Gibson, Apache Lou and Angelo Poffo. 

One humorous situation, which occurred from the matches of these teams, involved blonde Gary Royal.  He was frequently causing distractions outside the ring and had his nose broken from a punch from Leaping Lanny.  He proceeded to wear a hockey goalie mask to the arenas and television studios looking like quite a character.  As was Garyís misfortune, the first time he returned to the television studio to coach the blondes at ringside he was again greeted from a stiff right hand from Lanny again, which he claimed, aggravated his  injury.

With George Weingeroff co-functioning as both promoter and tag team champion, this left much for the blondes to complain about given their inability to wrest the belts from the long standing champions.  In a match in Frankfort, Kentucky in October 1981 the blondes seemed to have control of their confrontation with Lanny and George.  There was a scenario in which the referee was knocked out for a good 20 seconds of the match, in which Ricky Starr covered George for what was about a ten count pin.  Due to the fact the referee was unable to count( because of a collision with one of the participants) the reigning champs ended up eventually capturing the match with a pin fall.  

Because of the above-described circumstances, the blondes demanded rematches around the territory with two referees.  In some video descriptions of these confrontations it looks as though the blondes did eventually win the belts from Lanny and George.  At this time I am not 100 % positive of this determination as I am awaiting the supposed video of the title change.  I should have this info for next monthís piece.  On the videos I have purchased, it even shows the blondes defending the belts in the television studio before the promotion demanded the tag tournament. 

Because of all the controversy and confusion with the tag belts the promotion had a tag team tournament in Johnson City, Tennessee in late January 1982.  Teams were determined from a lottery type of determination with combatants being paired up by chance.  I actually am not positive of most of the teams in the event but the eventual winners were an unlikely duo.  Rip Rogers and Pistol Pez Whatley (who at the time was a heel) captured the US belts on that night.   More...

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